The Reality Of Division III Athletics
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The Reality Of Division III Athletics

Don't overlook it, don't underestimate it.

The Reality Of Division III Athletics
Washington College

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: being a student athlete is not easy. I believe that is a statement that every sport-affiliated student can agree with. Student athletes face the same difficulties that everyday students face, such as taking challenging classes, balancing workloads, and meeting deadlines, all while adding another daily responsibility to their schedule. Not only are collegiate sports time consuming, they are physically demanding. Regardless of division, an athlete goes the extra mile by committing to their team and representing their school.

When it comes to Division III athletics in particular, recognition doesn’t come easy. Division III athletes are some of the most dedicated, hard working, strong-willed, and passionate people you will ever meet. Why? They give their time solely because they love the sport they are a part of. Often times a DIII athlete is not seen as extraordinaire, and I’m not saying every athlete needs his or her name on the back of a t-shirt being sold in the bookstore. However, I am saying that these student athletes need to be recognized for what they do. Just because an athlete isn’t on the roster of a BIG 10 team, doesn’t mean that they work any less than those that are. They give everything they have into their sport, and deserve to be commended for what they do.

Division III athletes do not get half as many of the perks that Division I and II athletes receive, in multiple fields. There is no athletic scholarship, no entire wardrobe of apparel, no breath-takingly advanced arenas and so on. However, these are not the things that a DIII athlete cares about. They work their butts off day in and day out, strictly because of their love for their sport and their team. They don’t force themselves to wakeup at 5am so they maintain their scholarship; they wake up because it’s what matters to them. They run just as hard, lift just as much and work just as long as any other collegiate athlete. The sense of commitment and pride that comes along with Division III athletics is one that is incomparable.

As a collegiate rower, I’ve learned just what it takes to make it as a Division III athlete and let me tell you, it’s challenging. To my fellow DIII athletes: when you feel like you can't catch a break, work harder. Waking up to go to weight training, throwing up from a hard circuit, going straight to classes, and then heading to practice is a daily cycle for you. Somewhere in between all of this, you find the time to eat meals, do homework, shower and most importantly: sleep. I’m sure that majority of athletes can agree that the title “Athletic-Student” is often times more accurate than “Student-Athlete”, and for good reason. Though you may be recognized as D3, that doesn’t mean you are treated as any less of an athlete on the court, at the boathouse, or in the weight room. People expect more from because of your passion, and you give 110% every day not only to meet their expectations, but ones you set for yourself.

Don’t get my wrong in all of this, I’m not knocking at DI or DII athletes, and I’m not trying to complain about the “struggles" of being a Division III athlete. I commend every student athlete, Division I, II, or III, for the time, effort and endurance they put into their sport. My goal is to acknowledge the DIII athletes that feel like they aren’t recognized for their dedication, and to clarify the reality to those who don’t know just how hard we work. The immeasurable passion a Division III athlete has makes them who they are, and will lead them to pursue greatness both in athletics and in life. You know who you are, and you know just how much of your life you put into your athletics. It’s time that more people begin to recognize that too.

Lets be honest, college would be a hell of a lot easier if you didn’t do a sport, but it wouldn’t be as fun.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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